Comag Matamata Swifts are the sole remaining unbeaten side in The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership after Saturday’s games. The Swifts were held to a 1-1 draw by Otumoetai, but Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies have tasted defeat for the first time in 2019.
The Swifts’ game against Otumoetai was far from a classic. Both sides had battled through 120 minutes of ISPS Handa Chatham Cup football only two days earlier and it showed. The Swifts returned from their ANZAC Day cup trip to Auckland after a penalty shoot-out victory over Dalian FC in what was, on many levels, a crazy match. The confidence was palpable but, unfortunately, the win came with a price and Swifts coach Scott Parsonage was forced into a host of injury-related alterations for the match against Otumoetai.
There was little in the way of serious goal mouth action as Otumoetai and the Swifts comfortably kept each other in check. The goals came within a minute of each other midway through the second half. The visitors nodded home from a set-piece and, given the way the match had gone, seemed set for victory.
But Matamata captain, Andrew Clothier, drove forward from the kick-off and was fouled in the Otumoetai box for a clear cut penalty. Jamie Baxter converted to ensure both sides took a point in what was a fair result.
Earlier, Waharoa Transport Swifts reserves were defeated 4-1 by Otomoetai’s reserves. The visitors were two goals up inside two minutes only to see Ronan Costello hit back for Matamata moments later in a frantic start. Otumoetai scored twice more inside the opening half hour before the match settled down into a relatively even contest.
The Camel Kebab Matamata 3rd team secured their first win of the season after defeating neighbours Putaruru 2-0 in their Soccer Shop Waikato Cup fixture. Matamata created much but delivered little during the first half but stormed to victory after the break thanks to a close range Jamie Cox strike and a powerful Mike Hills headers from a precise Hayri Cihan free kick. The 3rds are improving with each performance and will be targeting their first points haul in Waikato Division 3 this weekend.
On Sunday the Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies came up against Waikato Division 1 hot favourites, West Hamilton, at Weka Street and were defeated 4-0. After a promising start to the season this result was a bit of a setback, although the performance against a top quality side was still encouraging.
Matamata had their chances, however, and Lisa Dunn in goal was outstanding with a player of the day performance. April Donnelly battled through the full 90 minutes even though she was far from 100 percent and Kerrie Cox had a strong game in the middle of the park. Patrice Morrison and Maggie Leaver worked hard in the attacking areas. Unfortunately three goals from corners undid some of the good work, giving the coaching staff something obvious to work on before the next match.